By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen http://michigancitizen.com/bill-to-stall-foreclosures-introduced-p11070-1.htm
DETROIT — Congressman Hansen Clarke announced April 12 the introduction of a federal bill that would place a three-year moratorium on foreclosures and mandate principal reductions.
Ashley Lewis, Clarke’s Communication Director, says the bill would stop the foreclosure process for most homeowners with a federally-backed mortgage.
“Next, the bill would require the bank to meet with the homeowner in foreclosure to discuss modifying the mortgage,” says Clarke. “The bill would also provide an incentive for banks to modify the mortgage.”
Clarke believes the plan will keep families in their homes, keep neighborhoods safe and spur economic recovery.
Clarke made the announcement at the Southwest Detroit home of Willie Delbridge who is currently facing eviction. Delbridge has been fighting Wells Fargo for several years even though his foreclosure has been set aside. Most recently Wells Fargo sold his home, for a second time, to a hedge fund for $5,000.
“People came by my house and told me I should have been gone,” Delbridge said. “I didn’t know them but they told me they had sold my house for $2,375.”
“People are afraid,” Delbridge said. “They are leaving their homes.”
Attorney Vanessa Fluker, who specializes in foreclosures, says many of the lending institutions’ foreclosure practices are fraudulent.
“Sometimes we don’t know who owns the property,” Fluker said. “Just because something has five stamps on it and is in the right format doesn’t make it legal. Sometimes, we’re dealing with entities that don’t even exist except to take away a home.”
Clarke plans to introduce the bill April 20, or the first part of the following week. He said he would like the bill to become law but is more interested in the relief it would offer homeowners. He said the President and/or Fannie Mae can enforce the same measures. “People are demanding elected officials do something and I’m responding,” Clarke said. “I’ve been told we have to let it (foreclosures) run its course. I respond, ‘At what price. People are losing their homes, sleeping in their cars.’”
Central United Methodist Church Pastor Ed Rowe, who also attended the demonstration at Delbridge’s home, said it was going to take more than bills to stop runaway foreclosures. Pastor Rowe believes campaign contributions, to politicians from the banks and financial institutions, is a problem.
“We need to occupy the lobby of these banks doing business in our community. Their business is moving us into shelters and then into dumpsters,” Rowe said. “This city has more churches, mosques and temples than anywhere. But they are not standing up to the banks nor standing up for the people.”
Rowe said parishioners should strongly urge their pastors, rabbis and imams to fight against the “legal loan-sharking that is decimating the country.”
Contact Marcus Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org